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The Truth About Robert E. Lee That Liberals Hope You Never Hear

Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 year ago to History
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Make sure you read both pages.
I knew some of this but didn't know exactly why he fought...he fought to protect his state, not to fight for slavery. He was against it and encouraged reconciliation.

Just in case you can't get to the second page...the most important page, here is the link: http://conservativetribune.com/truth-...
SOURCE URL: http://conservativetribune.com/truth-about-robert-e-lee/


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  • Posted by strugatsky 1 year ago
    The current issue has absolutely nothing to do with slavery. It is only a convenient excuse. If not slavery, any other "cause" will be found. The goal is to infuse Marx's dialectic class divisions - something that Alinsky understood very well and gave detailed instruction in "Rules for Radicals." Don't get distracted into the irrelevant details - slavery, color, gender, whatever - these are only pretexts.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 year ago
    What some people conveniently set aside is that slavery was not solely a southern institution, but a national one. Even so called abolitionist states had resident slave owners. Ulysses S. Grant, the general who defeated Lee, didn't release his slaves until 1865, but no one is talking about destroying Grant's tomb.

    The publication of the Emancipation Proclamation caused widespread desertion in the Union army, rioting in New York City, with hangings of black residents, and at least one attempt to overthrow a Union state (Indiana) government and join the Confederacy. The Indiana Copperheads failed in their attempt, but were still strongly in favor of white supremacy (some would say they still are, since one of remaining KKK bastions is in this state).

    My family owned the piece of land called the "surrender triangle" at Appomattox where the defeated Confederates stacked their arms. One of my ancestors (great-great uncle) rode with J.E.B. Stuart, my great-great grandfather was a Confederate artilleryman, and the two other brothers who fought in the war died in Union prison camps. Nonetheless I agree with Lee that memorials should not have been erected, and in fact most of them were put up in the 20th century.

    My reason for not tearing these monuments down and renaming myriad schools, streets and the like has nothing to do with nostalgia nor southern heritage. I object to the expense of all this destruction. When the nation and nearly every state is sweating over how to fund building and repairing infrastructure (just one example), why on Earth spend taxpayer dollars on an effort not supported by most in the nation?

    Incidentally, Walter Williams, the renowned black economist, agrees with Lee's observation that the slaves were better off than their relatives that remained in Africa. Williams points out that the life expectancy of an American slave in the 1800s was better than the current African life expectancy, and that the descendants of American slaves are better off materially, better educated, and with more freedom than a citizen of any African state today. This does not mean Williams thinks slavery was a defendable institution, but that the consequences had unexpected positive outcomes.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      Correct, but in addition, one cannot judge a past meme or paradigm via the rightful or misguided understandings of the present; and no one talks about the dark skinned muslims that captured the African slaves and the willingness of the African rulers...not to mention, the Dane's attraction to selling anything, including their own mothers for profit.
      England and America should be praised for their efforts to end it all.

      Another tidbit, there are more slaves today, (sex slaves and laborers) in the pagan and perverted world than there was in all times past!...yes, many are bicameral societies and progressive, democratic and communistic creatures.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
        "Another tidbit, there are more slaves today, (sex slaves and laborers) in the pagan and perverted world than there was in all times past!"

        YES!

        And I would add that economic slavery as a result of socialist/communist policies enslaves even more. True freedom is something most across the world wouldn't recognize and many of those who have it don't realize how truly a minority they are.
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        • Posted by mccannon01 1 year ago
          And another tidbit...

          One of my ancestors was an Irishman conscripted into the British army and sent to the Colonies to kill George Washington and any other rebel, but after he got here realized what the patriots of true freedom were all about. He was a commoner who owned NOTHING, but had to work to pay the royal rent on everything he had. He was virtually a slave. He changed sides and fought in the Colonial army for freedom and a piece of land to call his own near Elmira, NY. He paid no property tax, no income tax, and could build his home as he saw fit and grow the crops he saw fit and no man or government could take it away. He paid NO royal rent to anyone. He was a FREE MAN. Didn't last long, I guess. If I don't pay the "Royal Rent" I will soon learn I actually own NOTHING and, in that respect, am as much a virtual slave as my ancestor before he fought in the Colonial army. The majority of the people have returned to being "commoners" again.

          And another tidbit...

          I read that Frederick Douglas was asked why the negro wasn't set free at the conclusion of the American Revolution and his response was the white man had to free himself first.
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
            Replace the word "commoner" with serf and you've got it nailed.

            As soon as government took upon itself the right to tax and confiscate, it infringed on freedom - the level of infringement rising with the depth and breadth of taxation. The only way to restore freedom is to restrain taxation and the infringement it brings.
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          • Posted by  $  1 year ago
            Frederick Douglas was an amazing man...would show up many today. He was right, of course, they were enslaved by their own enslavement of others and at dissonance with that fact.
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    • Posted by JuliBMe 1 year ago
      I can't add much to the comments below except to emphasize that slavery is a WORLD problem that has not be eradicated anywhere but HERE. With the possible exception of the mind slavery of the welfare and democrat policy state. The malcontents tearing down AMERICA and AMERICAN art should be pursued and prosecuted as the evil seditionists that they are. And, that includes most of the democrat party, of course. Maybe some of the republican party, too!

      I also wanted to say that your family history is great! I wish there were such interesting people in my background.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 year ago
    Interesting , and thanks OUC for the post.
    the history of our country and it's important individuals have been under attack for a hundred years by the collectivists (through intention and with large foundations )who do not want to glorify the rugged individual.
    The individual is the greatest minority long may he/she be free.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 1 year ago
    Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate memorial statues.

    Overarching article from "Task and Purpose" military support website
    http://taskandpurpose.com/gripknife-r...
    includes links to previous research.

    "Sender: Robert E. Lee
    Recipient: Thoms L. Rosser

    Lexington VA 13 Dec - r 1866
    My dear Genl
    I have considered the questions in your letter of the 8th Inst: & am unable to advise as to the efficacy of the scheme proposed for the accomplishment of the object in view. That can be better determined by those more conversant with similar plans than I am.
    As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated; my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; & of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour. All I think that can now be done, is to aid our noble & generous women in their efforts to protect the graves & mark the last resting places of those who have fallen, & wait for better times.
    I am very glad to hear of your comfortable establishment in Baltimore & that Mrs. Rosser is with you. Please present to her my warm regards. It would give me great pleasure to meet you both anywhere, & especially at times of leisure in the mountains of Virginia; but such times look too distant for me to contemplate, much less for me now to make arrangements for -
    Very truly yours
    R E Lee
    Genl Thos: L. Rosser"
    Notes: Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives
    http://leefamilyarchive.org/papers/le...
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 1 year ago
    “When Lee surrendered at Appomattox he also signed a parole document swearing upon his honor not to bear arms against the United States or to ‘tender aid to its enemies.’ "
    Like all of the army and navy officers who abandoned their oaths to the union and the Constitution in joining the southern revolt, Lee already broke his word once. But let us accept that this time he really meant it.

    Virginia certainly did not merely petition Congress or bring suit before the Supreme Court. The war started with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. What did not happen was that a southern state following rule of law was invaded by federal troops or federal marshals who arrested the government of that state. The elected representatives of Virginia and the other secessionists in other states then joined the attack on the United States.

    Yes, many people in the south knew that slavery was (1 )morally wrong and (2) economically doomed. They still clung to it, often arguing from their own alleged benevolence for the so-called "colored race."

    Read the Constitution of the United States. Importation of slaves was forbidden after 1807. Everyone knew the end of slavery was inevitable and for another lifetime - 60 years - the southerners did nothing. In fact, they passed even harsher laws and engaged in worse punishments. People of African ancestry, free and slave alike, in America in 1835 were worse off than they had been in 1789.

    The northerners who were opposed to slavery compromised time and again with the southern representatives. The Kansas-Nebraska Act nullified the Compromise of 1850. Compromise only delayed the inevitable and did nothing to bring the slave owners into the industrial age.

    Moreover, it is curious that the same conservatives who distrust democracy as mobocracy excuse the mobs in the southern states. We all know that just because "everyone" votes for something does not make it right.

    That Lee and the other traitors got off so lightly speaks deeply to magnanimity of the American culture, the American spirit. We are nice to our enemies.
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    • Posted by Mitch 1 year ago
      You sound like a Antifa activist trying to sound normal. Why do you have to desecrate a historical figure in our past? This is history dude… I can tell you that a lot of people think that Lee was a great man and deserves a place of honor in our history.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
      It is instructive to read Georgia's letter of secession. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_centu... Note that this letter explicitly acknowledges the point made above: that those who signed the Constitution knew that slavery was intended to be phased out of life in the United States. Yet Southern States continued to push not only to protect that institution in their own states but to press for its expansion into new States (Ohio Compromise, Kansas-Nebraska Act) and its protection even in non-slave States (Dred Scott decision). I would also note that while Lincoln is parlayed as a villain to the South, several Southern States had already signed secession papers before Lincoln was even elected and most before his inauguration.

      I personally hold Lee to be an honorable man. One should remember that it wasn't until after the Civil War (and one can really argue that it didn't happen until WW I) that national loyalty rose above State loyalty. It would be very much akin to someone holding themselves as a Belgian before a European.
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      • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
        Loyalty to one's principles should come before national or state loyalty. Lee claimed to oppose slavery, yet he was willing to be a military leader for a confederacy that vowed to perpetuate the evil institution. Whatever his personal virtues or leadership qualities, he was not a hero in terms of Objectivist principles.
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        • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 year ago
          Slavery wasn't the primary issue in the civil war until Lincoln made it so. The Union was losing battle after battle and the Union troops, state malitias, were leaving for home. Lincoln needed a rallying cry to keep the Northerners fighting and championed slavery.

          Lee was a staunch supporter of state sovereignty over federalism and served the interest of his kinsmen (Virginians) in spite of his personal feelings. While he owned a plantation (Arlington) he never owned slaves.
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          • Posted by  $  1 year ago
            I remember reading an original, personally written paper with Lincoln's arguments against slavery...he was a smart and moral man...he battled the consequences of both sides of the argument for war or not.
            Mercury one museum has that original document.
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            • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 year ago
              I cannot find the quotes now, apparently the web has been PC censored by those owning the sites, but prior to his presidency Lincoln was neutral on the matter of slavery, unwilling to promote it or remove it. Once he needed a platform to save hi war it was something his conscience had to act on.

              If I find the quotes and references again I'll post them.
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              • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                AJ...here is an interesting and accurate account of slavery by Washington and Jefferson. (was actually looking for stuff on Lincoln.

                This site is the best resource I have found and it has accumulated millions of original documents and personal letters of our founding and our founders.
                https://wallbuilders.com/george-washi...

                Best I can find is that Lincolns father did not own slaves. When they bought the house in Illinois they did not have slaves and some sites say that Mary inherited slaves, (her father did not owned slaves) and they sold them upon inheritance.
                I cannot vet the sources out to my satisfaction at this point.
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              • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                That PC purging is beginning to be a big problem...sometimes I wonder if I should just go to the library like the olden days...but some have been purged as well.
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                • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                  I don't know of internet purging of such quotes; sometimes they are hard to find (or made harder to find). "Wallbuilders" itself is a dubious site for religious historical revisionism by David Barton, known for fabricating quotes and distorting meaning by dropping context, so be careful to verify what you find there.

                  But yes, libraries have been purged. An example on another topic is the library in the little town of Peninsula, Ohio. Peninsula is one of the five small communities where the National Park Service purged hundreds of property owners -- i.e., seized homes, businesses, farms and land by eminent domain -- for the Cuyahoga National Recreation Area (now National Park), which ordeal was documented on a PBS Frontlines episode "For the Good of All" in 1982 following the purge. The library had a large collection of documents, most of which disappeared by the time I was there 10 or 15 years ago researching it. The library's board of directors had been taken over by elitists who worship the National Park and who could care less about the people who used to live there, but who don't want people to know what their favorite government agency had done to spoil the romantic imagery.

                  As for the internet, the NPS Administrative History of the Cuyahoga NRA I had once found on the NPS history pages in its website, but had not finished with or completely downloaded, disappeared. I eventually found it, by means too complex to go into here, squirreled away on an obscure government documents site not accessible by a direct search. The experience tipped me off to dig up several other such Administrative Histories kept hard to find and containing embarrassing (to them) information, including their internal personal attacks on individuals who have opposed their abusive tactics.
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                  • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                    "Wallbuilders" itself is a dubious site for religious historical revisionism by David Barton"...What! maybe you don't like it but our forefathers used the Bible often...David/Wallbuilders holds millions of original documents and personal letters of our founding and our founders...When it comes to history...I trust only originals...especially these days.

                    I too once held your view until faced with the empirical facts, ex. Speeches written from passages from the Bibles etc. It no longer scares me anymore because I have a deeper understanding of our biblical ancestors and their bicameral brain sets, (their points of view etc.).

                    But...you are certainly entitled to your opinion...the discussion here as with any posts on the Gulch have been interesting and enlightening...wouldn't trade it for the world.
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                      David Barton fabricates quotes and takes real ones out of context for his revisionist history trying to make it look this country was founded on the Bible. Read original quotes, but watch the source and the validity of the context and what is being argued based on them.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
            Re: "While he owned a plantation (Arlington) he never owned slaves."
            Yes he did.
            http://radgeek.com/gt/2005/01/03/robe...
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            • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 year ago
              Inheriting slaves from his father he set them free. Also inheriting slaves from his marriage he set them free within 5 years. Yes, he owned slaves but there is a difference between shopping and spending money and happenstance. Agree?
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                AJ, what is your opinion of Lee in light of the account of former slave Wesley Norris, regarding Lee's mistreatment and torture of himself and his sister? Do you still consider Robert E. Lee to be deserving of statues in his honor?
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                • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 1 year ago
                  I now have read one account and find my opinion of Robert E. Lee lessened.
                  Do I think his statues should be taken down, no. His statues weren't erected to honor his memory of slave ownership (which was limited and for a limited time), they were erected to honor his ability as American general. Lincoln offered Lee command of the Northern forces.

                  U.S. Public Law 85-4254 section 410
                  In 1958 Congress granted Confederate soldiers the game legal status as US soldiers, protecting graves and monuments from desecration and even providing a pension to those who served during the war.

                  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                    I wasn't aware of Congress changing the legal status of Confederate soldiers. Thanks for that.

                    Regarding the statues, if they were truly erected to honor his ability as an American general, then Benedict Arnold is equally entitled to statues in his honor. I'm not saying this facetiously, the two men share many similarities. Both fought for the U.S. and then switched sides. Arnold's U.S. military career was arguably more valuable to the nation than Lee's, prior to his defection to the South. Arnold actually had more justification for his defection, as he was repeatedly passed over for promotion, while Lee, as you mentioned, was offered command of the Northern forces.

                    Ultimately I don't think either Benedict Arnold or Robert E. Lee are deserving of statues in their honor.
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                      Yes, monuments like this are erected in celebration of what they did, not a floating abstraction of "great general" without regard to what they were fighting for.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
            Lee was willing to support (and fight for) state sovereignty despite his state's support of slavery, which he claimed to oppose. Actions speak louder than words, and his actions cannot in any way be considered heroic in the Objectivist sense of the term.
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            • Posted by  $  1 year ago
              You can't judge history by present day standards...hind sight is always 20/20...however, those embroiled in this ridiculous fight today, have no basis for hind sight.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                If you can't judge history by present day standards, you can't judge history at all. And even in the 19th Century many people believed slavery was wrong and acted on their beliefs. Robert E. Lee "believed" slavery was wrong and sided with the slaveholders anyway. That's history.
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                • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                  It's not that clear cut. Of course present day understanding should enter the discussions but they should be weighed along with the memes, issues and believes of the times.
                  It is what it is...we need only to put ourselves in that position and learn from it. We study history to be free from it, so we won't repeat the same situations over and over again.
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                    The memes, issues and beliefs of any given time are usually the memes, issues and beliefs of the leaders of that time. And every leader thinks that his or her beliefs are the correct ones. We should evaluate or "weigh" their beliefs and actions using objective moral standards rather than the "memes" of their time, our time, or any other time.
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                    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                      Repeat: Everyone , in those times, grew up and lived with slavery, they all were enslaved by Kings and Queens; thoughts otherwise was a recent development, radical, so to speak, for those times...memes or paradigms do not change quickly.
                      Are we not having a similar battle today? A paradigm of Freedom will not give way to a paradigm back into slavery...I think most have learned that lesson but are still blinded by the fact that the reverse fight never ended...example: big government, collectivism, political correctness (making anyone wanting to discuss the matter an instant criminal), global warming, Big City states, dumbed down education, revised history and all manner of disempowerments.
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          • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
            Lincoln did not make the Civil War about slavery. The Confederacy seceded and started the war over slavery after years of political battles over it. Conservatives putting statist "states rights" over the rights of the individual, now in strained rationalizations for the Confederacy, will never be able to defend capitalism and individualism. They are defensively playing right into the hands of the smear-mongering left trying to brand us all as racists.
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        • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
          State versus national loyalty is a collectivist power struggle, not a moral principle. Whether someone "holds himself" to be a Southerner or an American, or a Belgian or a European, is irrelevant to the moral choice and the judgment of it. To put that first is to put a tribal duty premise above morality. If there are mitigating moral considerations for Lee they do not include that he was a question-begging statist. The conservative apologists arguing that way are consistent with their common "states rights" collectivist premise.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
          Whether one holds Lee (or any other person for that matter) up as a hero depends entirely on whether that person embodies the principles we wish to emulate and that's going to be a pretty subjective evaluation. It's easy to criticize events and people from the past. Sometimes all we can do is our best given the circumstances.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
            According to Objectivism, principles are anything but subjective. Criticizing certain people from the past is a perfectly valid intellectual exercise, especially since there were other people from the past who were championing the rights of slaves while Lee and the Confederate leadership were doing their best to make sure that slavery remained in place.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
              Oh, I agree that principles aren't subjective, but our evaluation of how other people match up to those expectations is subjective - and we should be cognizant of that fact. Should we analyze the past to learn from the mistakes of others? YES

              My caution is about criticizing military personnel for obeying the policies of their political leadership. I don't put Lee in with the Confederate political leadership (like Jefferson Davis) who were agitating for the continuance and expansion of slavery. He had to make a tough choice between the land that he loved and the land that he loved. It was a lose-lose decision.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                Lee actually had three options. He could have refused to lend his military skills to either side. Instead he chose the worst option, becoming an enabler to a pro-slavery government. Without Lee in the fight, the war might have ended much sooner and with much less loss of life on both sides.
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            • Posted by mccannon01 1 year ago
              I think the problem here, CBJ, is Objectivist principles and widespread belief in the equality of the negro and the white man didn't exist in 1861. If Lee had the advantage of knowing these things as we do today, I'm sure his decision would have been different. If you read his letter, as supplied by MikeMarrotta above, you can plainly see even though Lee didn't like slavery there was little doubt he believed the white man and the negro were somehow much different. His decision, IMHO, was about his disagreement with white men in the Union telling white men in the States what to do. (I use the term "negro" as apposed to "African-American" because the latter term didn't exist in 1861)
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              • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                Thanks mccannon01
                Everyone , in those times, grew up and lived with slavery, they all were enslaved by Kings and Queens; thoughts otherwise was a recent development, radical, so to speak, for those times...memes or paradigms do not change quickly.
                Are we not having a similar battle today? A paradigm of Freedom will not give way to a paradigm back into slavery...I think most have learned that lesson but are still blinded by the fact that the reverse fight never ended.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                Fine, but one doesn't have to believe in "the equality of the negro and the white man" in order to believe that enslaving the black man is wrong. And to act on that belief.
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                • Posted by mccannon01 1 year ago
                  You're right, CBJ, and I agree with you on that today now that the hard work has been done and hind sight can be so clear. However, in the past that belief wasn't always agreed with. For example, Grant's disbelief in racial equality was to the point negro slavery or servitude didn't seem to bother him, yet he believed in the Union strongly enough to make war on States desiring to leave it. The opposite of Lee.

                  The American Civil War was a defining point in US and world history and the primary participants of both sides should be studied, not erased. One interesting point is the fact that the states that had an estimated 4.5 million slaves to contribute to their war effort still couldn't beat the free states. America was becoming a powerful nation with slavery, but in the end became a far more powerful nation without it.
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                    The primary participants of both sides should be studied, not erased. It does not follow that they should not be judged. If we are entitled to make judgments about the founding fathers (most of them positive), we are certainly entitled to make judgments about participants in the Civil War (many of them negative).
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                    • Posted by mccannon01 1 year ago
                      Sure, go ahead and judge all you want. Just make sure the criteria is valid when applied to the one being judged. If last week it was legal to drive 55mph on a stretch of highway, but the law is changed this week to 35mph, it would be invalid to judge guilty those that drove that stretch at 55mph last week. When studying history we have to be careful of those kinds of judgements even if parts of the historical figure's behavior assaults our sensibilities by today's standards. For example, it would be easy to judge the Nazis as evil even in their own time, but Thomas Jefferson evil for being a slave holder in his time? Nah.
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                      • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                        Holding human beings as slaves has always been evil. Jefferson's early views held those enslaved as inferior by nature and in need of being told how to live while treating them well because of what he observed them to be. He overlooked how they got that way and how they were kept down at that level. It was an understandable error and much different than those who held no principles of the rights of the individual, but the slavery itself was still wrong. The principles are based on the facts -- in this case the slavery of rational beings -- not what people thought of it then or any other time. The slavery was morally wrong.

                        Jefferson himself is judged as a great man because of how he thought and fought to implement his superior ideas over the course of his career. It isn't based on a single trigger word and no context, followed by an hysteria to tear down the Jefferson Memorial.

                        This moral judgment has nothing to do with prosecuting speeders under whatever the current legal speed limit is. Speed limits are optional within a range and set for the current road conditions; they are not moral principles. The moral principle is not endangering others' lives and the necessity to judge what driving actions do that.
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                        • Posted by mccannon01 1 year ago
                          "Holding human beings as slaves has always been evil." We know and acknowledge slavery of human beings as evil in these more enlightened times. However, that enlightenment has not always been the case in times past and to pass a judgment on a slaveholder of the past the same as we would judge a slaveholder today would be disingenuous.

                          The speed limit analogy was simply to illustrate accountability and rational assignment of guilt could change over time for various reasons. Sorry you missed it. Here's another example: We know today that human sacrifice is murderous evil, but try explaining that to an Aztec priest 700 years ago. Their descendants are now more enlightened and no longer practice such things. Accountability has changed with knowledge. We don't burn witches anymore, either.

                          Here's a hypothetical based on your phrase "...in this case the slavery of rational beings...". What if at some future time that definition is expanded to include non-rational beings, such as dogs, cats, horses, et al? What if pet ownership is looked upon as an evil subjugation of another species and pet owners of today are referred to as vile hateful people whose statues should be torn down regardless of any other positive or historical contribution the individual may have made? Oh wait, I think this expanded definition is already under way.

                          Do we assign guilt and erase all history because our ancestors may have committed some "crime" by TODAY'S standards? Let's face it, by today's standards in Western Civilization the whole past world was pretty nasty and a large portion of the contemporary world continues to be just as nasty. We should learn from the past with a mind towards understanding and take care in how we judge those who came before us.
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                          • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                            We aren't explaining anything to Aztec priests; they are all dead, and their imagined acquiescence is not required to understand what they did and evaluate it and them. That slavery is and was immoral is an objective fact based on the nature of man, which has not changed since the Aztecs or the 16th century Puritans or the 17th and 18th century south.

                            The principles of objective morality are based on the facts of the nature of man, not cultural relativism. This isn't the subjective Pragmatism with its "what's true today may not be tomorrow".

                            Burning people as "witches" and persecuting and executing Quakers was also immoral, whenever it was done and regardless of what the religious/political leaders and their followers thought about it in their rationalizing.

                            Concepts are not arbitrarily expanded to lump dogs, cats and horses in with rational beings to "look upon" as whatever someone wants. If and when any such animals biologically evolve to live by independent rational thought, and to which the concept morality objectively applies, then we can conceptualize and identify immoral subjugation -- without condemning anyone who ever had a pet and for which the concept does not apply.

                            We do "take care in how we judge those who came before us". We do not "erase history". We look at the philosophical ideas as they evolved through centuries of history and what that meant in practice, not as random acts of nastiness dropping the intellectual context. "Nasty" behavior then or now does not imply cultural relativism with a warning to not judge. It shows that you had better judge -- by objective criteria -- and understand the ideas that caused it as well as those who held better ideas that led to progress.
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              • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                If you lived thousands of years ago you would 'think differently' -- like fellow tribesman of the stone age. So what. Lee was a statist and supporter of slavery and is judged accordingly.
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            • Posted by  $  1 year ago
              Correct, we certainly can and should have this conversation but we shouldn't be blinded by our own prejudices, we have to ultimately judge by the meme of the times. It wasn't lee's intention to perpetuate slavery...even though that issue was part of it, he valued his state and the lives of his statesmen more.

              Would you have abstained all together back in the day? It's not an easy call either way CB.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                Since when is opposing slavery a "prejudice"? We certainly don't "have to ultimately judge by the meme of the times". Would you judge Hitler by the "meme" of German antisemitism in the 1930's? When push came to shove, Lee confronted a clear choice between the rights of slaves and the government of his pro-slavery "statesmen". He chose the latter.

                Would I have abstained altogether back in the day? I grew up in the 1950's South, and based on my evaluation of the mindset of typical people then in power, abstaining (or actively supporting the other side) would have been an easy call. And I wasn't even an Objectivist at the time.
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                • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                  Even by the German meme of those times...Hitler was Evil...Lee on the other hand, was not and faced with an internal conundrum he tried his best to reconcile. In the end, even though it may be judged to be to late, it would seem he came to terms with that internal conflict.
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                  • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                    Judging by the "meme of the time" is collective subjectivism. Objective standards are the opposite of "prejudice" and "blind". One can understand why a person did something, or thought he had to do it as all that was politically possible at the time in the face of multiple problems, without abandoning moral standards in the name of avoiding "prejudice"; and one can understand errors by otherwise thoughtful people who also did something good without either abandoning moral principles or denouncing them as "Hitler".
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 year ago
                    How nice for him. Did he ever apologize to any former slaves for attempting to extend their period of servitude?
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                      Did Jefferson? Who knows what they informally said to any individuals? We can only discuss and evaluate what they publicly said their beliefs and motives were in conjunction with their actions and what they thought that meant at the time and for the future. But Lee was no Jefferson.
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                      • Posted by  $  1 year ago
                        We also can evaluate their personal letters to each other and commentary's in the news papers.

                        Jefferson wondered if they could learn like everyone else. He taught them to read and write, taught them skills and found them to be no different than anyone else...that's what changed his mind about slavery. Unfortunately, Virginia law prohibited him from freeing the slaves he inherited from his father...same goes for Adams and Washington...they inherited slaves from their fathers as well.
                        What many do not know is that during those times there were many Black Americans involved in the revolution, in state, federal governments not to mention, The Congress in Session. Any one of those people would make our present day government look like kindergartners.
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                        • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
                          Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence as he submitted it to Congress denounced Britain for bringing slavery to America:

                          "He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce; and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

                          quoted in Carl Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas, 1922 (emphases in original).
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      One often forgets and doesn't get: "With Malice toward none". If life and our ascension into greater and greater awareness was to be so easy, there would of been no need for forgiveness.
      Yes, stupid is more dangerous than evil and stupid that doesn't tame one's cognitive dissonance should never be forgiven nor celebrated but it was clear that Lee was none of these things and in fact encouraged Reconciliation...For someone from the south, it was worth a statue or two.

      PS...I did not mark you down.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 1 year ago
    While Robert E. Lee acknowledged the evil of slavery,that out-take must be put into context.

    Letter to his wife on slavery (selections; December 27, 1856)
    "The steamer also brought the President's message to Cong; & the reports of the various heads of Depts; the proceedings of Cong: &c &c. So that we are now assured, that the Govt: is in operation, & the Union in existence, not that we had any fears to the Contrary, but it is Satisfactory always to have facts to go on. They restrain Supposition & Conjecture, Confirm faith, & bring Contentment: I was much pleased with the President's message & the report of the Secy of War, the only two documents that have reached us entire. Of the others synopsis [sic] have only arrived. The views of the Pres: of the Systematic & progressive efforts of certain people of the North, to interfere with & change the domestic institutions of the South, are truthfully & faithfully expressed. The Consequences of their plans & purposes are also clearly set forth, & they must also be aware, that their object is both unlawful & entirely foreign to them & their duty; for which they are irresponsible & unaccountable; & Can only be accomplished by them through the agency of a Civil & Servile war. In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild & melting influence of Christianity, than the storms & tempests of fiery Controversy. This influence though slow, is sure. The doctrines & miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years, to Convert but a small part of the human race, & even among Christian nations, what gross errors still exist! While we see the Course of the final abolition of human Slavery is onward, & we give it the aid of our prayers & all justifiable means in our power, we must leave the progress as well as the result in his hands who sees the end; who Chooses to work by slow influences; & with whom two thousand years are but as a Single day. Although the Abolitionist must know this, & must See that he has neither the right or power of operating except by moral means & suasion, & if he means well to the slave, he must not Create angry feelings in the Master; that although he may not approve the mode which it pleases Providence to accomplish its purposes, the result will nevertheless be the same; that the reasons he gives for interference in what he has no Concern, holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbors when we disapprove their Conduct; Still I fear he will persevere in his evil Course. Is it not strange that the descendants of those pilgrim fathers who Crossed the Atlantic to preserve their own freedom of opinion, have always proved themselves intolerant of the Spiritual liberty of others?"
    http://fair-use.org/robert-e-lee/lett...
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 year ago
    If the war had gone the other way, the continuation of slavery in the United States would have been the end result.
    Lee appears to have been more concerned with his "home state" as a collective than with the freedom of the individuals in it.
    I do not intend to try to maintain that he was a monster, I just do not think a statue of him as a military hero should continue to be maintained at public expense.
    I live in Richmond, where we have Monument Ave. It might cost too much to remove those Confederate statues, but perhaps we could donate them to the Confederate Museum, to be taken there at the Museum's expense. And then signs could be put up, naming the "heroes" whose statues had stood there, how long they were there, and the address of the museum(s) where they were to be found. Or, if this is not feasible, perhaps we could put a sign above them, reading "Confederate Museum--Outside
    Branch".
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    • Posted by ewv 1 year ago
      If the Civil War had gone the other way I still don't think slavery would have lasted, just like it didn't last, at least in that crude form, in most of the civilized world, but it would have lasted longer in the south than it did. The south may not have ever rejoined with the north as one nation, but there was such a growing intellectual and activist opposition to slavery and willingness to defy it and help those who escaped that there would have been constant insurrection and warfare, officially declared or not, until the old slave-feudal system collapsed.

      As for maintaining statues in commemoration, there should be no government monuments at all (see Ayn Rand's "The Monument Builders") other than perhaps military cemeteries and memorials and a few major symbols like the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.

      But removing monuments now is far from a priority, and the current hysteria is an irrational, contrived movement to promote leftist group think denouncing the origins of this country entirely. They are dominating public thought through a compliant media that lurches from one fad to another as the left demands that we go on the defensive to its alleged moral superiority about everything from statues to conspiracies about the president being a Russian spy.

      Far more important than the statues, we should be systematically demolishing statutes -- think of it as a statues for statutes program.
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  • Posted by starznbarz 1 year ago
    Does` nt matter. Show me where the Constitution grants anyone the power to get what they want simply by declaring "I am offended" . These actions are designed to nullify a legitimate vote in the United States of America, nothing more. Until Americans that voted this administration into office get off the couch and require their elected representatives -local, state and federal, to enforce the law, the communists will continue to get what they want.
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